An international seafood company leaked nearly 4,000 gallons of chlorine into waters in northern Norway, killing approximately 96,000 fish, according to a company announcement Tuesday.
The announcement from Grieg Seafood company claims that although the leak caused the loss of thousands of fish, the incident did not cause harm to Grieg employees or other people on land or sea, according to the statement. (RELATED: Study: Massive Amounts Of Fish Could Be Killed Due To Oxygen Shortages In Lakes Across The Country)
“This is very sad,” Stine Torheim, manager of the harvesting plant, said in the statement. “Our focus is now first and foremost on cleaning up. We will get all facts about this incident on the table, to ensure that it will not happen again.”
The company is currently unsure of how this leak will impact the surrounding environment, but they plan to partner with a Norweigen company to conduct an independent assessment of the possible impacts, according to the statement. The assessment is expected to take a “few days.”
“The leak had a short-term, acute impact on organisms that were in the water around the harvesting plant when the incident occurred,” the company’s statement said.
Grieg Seafood Finnmark will manage the cleanup of the harvesting pens, according to the statement. The dead fish, which the company said are insured, will be taken care of by the company’s continuously monitored silage system and silage boats.
Fish silage, which is used as an ingredient for animal feed, according to Science Direct, is the product of fish trimmings from harvesting and dead fish from farms. Depending on the quality of the silage, Grieg Seafood reuses the ingredient as animal feed, biofuel or fertilizers, according to the company’s waste management page.
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Local police said that the leaked chlorine has already flowed into the Atlantic Ocean and that emergency services were working to understand the incident, according to CBS News. In their statement, Grieg Seafood said they plan to “cooperate fully with all authorities” on the matter. (RELATED: Florida In State Of Emergency After Thousands Of Dead Fish Wash Up On Its Beaches)
While the company stated that the financial consequences of the incident have not been clarified, Norwegian media company, Intrafish, estimated the value of the dead fish to be approximately $3.4 million.